11 miles from home: Chapter 2: Holy Sh!t What a Ride
Map of the Road
Iowa State Football Player Scooter Crash
A real scooter accident
Flung Far from Home
After taking some back ways, hitting what seemed to be every stop light and finally grinding into the heavy traffic of rush hour on one of the two main stretches of road I ride on ... I'm finally cruising down the road on my way to the mailboxes.
Even though I had narrowly avoided yet other close call due to some jackass, who doesn't understanding what the words "merge into traffic" means... since he just rocketed into my lane while my flow of traffic had the "right of way" at the time....
(for some of you reading this... "right on red" is perfectly alright as long as you remember you are attempting to join on coming traffic who has the right of way first ... this is not an instants of "first bumper in wins" or "the biggest vehicle goes first" ... can you dig it.)
all is good. Like I stated in the my previous hub, this particular ride was one of pure "feels good to be cruising" and I'm caught up in the spirituality of the ride...the purging of whatever it is, that has compelled me to feel not quite like things are just not "normal."
Anyway, I hit my left turn onto the road that the mail drop boxes are located and traffic is light. The speed limit is 45mph on this road. I glance at my speedometer and I'm doing 40... which is cool with me. Its a warm, feels less humid, late afternoon and I'm finally feeling in the moment.
Its Florida so I'm in a pair of shorts, with a hole in the back-end so I have on a pair of swim trunks on underneath... (hey, I planned on hitting the pool in my condo complex once I entered the entrance gates) a long sleeve t-shirt and my favorite pair of sneakers on. Yeah, that's right I wore this to work at the office... its good to be the king ...lest not forget I have sunglasses on... not only because I want to look cool on my scooter, but they are eye protection, help to avoid sun glare and besides eye covering is the law.
Around this time, I'm remembering that not only did I skip lunch (as fairly normal) ... I didn't eat breakfast this morning either. So I make myself a mental note to pick-up something at the grocery store on the way home. During all this time my girl has been calling (I guess several times) to tell me she has decided that she was going to come over, and that she has already started on her way from the hour and a half journey that she must take just to come over to my place. But I wouldn't know this, because my smartphone is off and safely tucked away in the storage compartment under my seat. I'm almost at my appointed first stop on the trip home... maybe a half mile from the airport mall mailboxes... then its stop at the store to pick something up for dinner and then its home... hit the pool ... walk the mutt... dinner and an evening of TV til I fall asleep. An easy evening of relaxation.
I glance, once again at the speedometer, still holding at 40mph, but I feel like I'm flying... almost like floating above the road. I'm just seconds from the postal destination... I notice a dark colored Honda... an Accord, pulling up to the stop sign... on the side street to my right. I'm maybe a hundred feet or so, from the mouth of the intersection that she just pulled up to. I see her and I believe we have even made eye contact... but I notice something... she really isn't coming to a full and complete stop... mind you this isn't exactly a light traffic road, especially at rush hour, in which we are in the full grips of at this time of day.
But I still notice the tires of the Honda car are still hedging forward ready to pull a left-hand turn. I'm thinking, there's no way she's going just to jump out in this traffic to make a left turn, especially right now... I'm literally feet from her. I see the car jump through the stop sign... I hit my brakes and put my feet down trying to stop... I feel the scooter wiggle... I see the car's hood angle toward the left... and the words "F@CK!" shoot straight out of my mouth.
I feel myself barrel roll over the hood of the Honda... I can see pieces of the plastic fairing, the amber turn signal lens shattered and glistening in the sun... I can see my sunglasses sliding... topside down, on the blacktop tar road. I can feel me landing on the pavement... rolling... twisting and sliding. I'm sliding down the pavement mostly on my knees, my right arm and elbow. Rolling and twisting like Evel Knievel at the Caesars Palace fountains. Finally, I come to a stop.
Facing the car that struck me, I watch my scooter roll and fall over just left of the Honda... the scooter falls over, like a wounded soldier in a movie. The contents that were stowed under the seat spill out onto the hot black street.
I can feel my head is laying on my right arm, it feels like my left leg, though numb, is up in the air and feels like it is bent at the hip, dangling at the knee, and hanging just before the ankle. I can't cry... for whatever reason, because I know I sure wanted too. I never black-out either, though I wished and hoped I would.
The women who was driving the car, jumps out ...hysterical... pacing from her car, to my scooter and toward me (yet never too close to me). She is panicking, crying, and apologizing none stop. I keep lifting my head up.
Suddenly from behind me I hear a voice... the voice says, "I'm a nurse...just be still, can you hear me?" I start talking to the voice... while I watch a crowd gather. The road looks like a wall of people and vehicles. I can see chrome shining in the sun and faces staring... I hear the voice behind me say, again "I'm a nurse, can you tell me your name?" I answer her and add, "I know my leg is broken.. and by what I feel it must be in three places."
I'm still lifting my head up and she puts her hands under my head telling me not to move. Mentally, I knew I shouldn't in case of neck or spinal injury. I heard the voice say, "You may go into shock. just stay calm." Then I heard her call out for a blanket... some guy ran out from the crowd... he took off his shirt and offered it to her... the voice balled it up as comfortable as possible and held my head up with it... at this time I thought maybe I had cut open my head and she was trying to control the bleeding. This wasn't the case she was trying just to comfort me.
Meanwhile, the poor hysterical, lady who hit me was running back and forth doing the "oh my God, Oh my God! I'm so sorry..." The voice behind me kept trying to calm her. I finally got this poor gal to hear me... I asked her name and she told me. I told her to listen to me... and that everything will be alright. I tried to get her to calm down and even at one point I told that I forgive her. The voice behind me say, "You are being a lot nicer and calmer than I would be in your situation." I responded with, "Look I need her to calm down and be cool because she has her cellphone in her hand and we need to call 911." The voice said not to worry about that... help is already on the way... the voice had already called in the accident before she came to my rescue.
It had already seemed like hours had passed.. even though I know all this had really happened in a matter of minutes.
Many thoughts ran through my head from the very moment I had tumbled over the car to the moment I lay there in the middle of the road. The first was, this is it I'm leaving my job and doing something more meaningful with my life. Something that will bring me happiness, no stress, fulfillment, and I want to make a difference.
Secondly, was how am I going to call my girl? I'm sure after impact my phone is crushed and I never memorize phone numbers, because they are in my phone...
Then it was who is going to walk the dog?.. she is going to need to potty... whose going to feed her? Then it was back to, how can I get a hold of my girl? All I remembered was her email address, so I guess that might be my only option...
At this time, I did have a friend who was pretty down and out living in my guest room, so the dog issues were readily quelled, and I thought maybe he would be able to contact my girlfriend to let her know what's going on, but... sigh... once again, I didn't know his phone number, because its in my phone. I knew he is on the computer a lot so, maybe he can contact my girlfriend via email.
I did remember one phone number, the president of my company might have my "roommates" phone number because they used to be friends. But the boss is in California opening our new west coast offices. The only other phone number I do remember is my ex-wife's ... which isn't going to do me any good either, since she was in Sophia, Bulgaria renewing her Bulgarian passport and visiting family.
Of all the weeks to have everyone who can help me either out of state, getting ready to go out of state, or out of the country.
The paramedics finally arrived. It seemed like hours before they made it, even though the station is just 3 minutes away from where I lay battered and broken. I felt alone, helpless and my mind kept racing looking for a solution or an "out." I believe, that just like in a game of billiards, that in life there is always a shot... you just have to find your angle, see it and visualize it. You line it up, make it happen and take your shot.
... and right now I'm thinking, racing to find my angle, so I can take my shot. I kept thinking how I get a hold of the people who I need the most, because I know they'll help me somehow. I was here alone, knowing I needed to contact my girlfriend, my parents (who live over 1300 miles away) my friends and I knew if someway I can contact just one person, my web of contact would spread wide open and I would be OK.
I made the news
Crash reported at Tallevast Road
By NATALIE NEYSA ALUND, firstname.lastname@example.org
TALLEVAST —Florida Highway Patrol troopers are on the scene of a crash involving a motorcycle and a car.
The crash, at the intersection of Tallevast Road and Ninth Street East, was reported just before 5:20 p.m., authorities said.
A medical helicopter landed at about 5:45 p.m., authorities said, to transport the motorcyclist to a nearby hospital.
His condition was not immediately known, but authorities said they did not appear life threatening.
According to the FHP website, a portion of the road is blocked off at the intersection.